Two Men in Town DVD Review

Ride on time....and crime?

William Garnett was imprisioned 18 years before for the murder of a town deputy. Garnett was in a gang and killed the man as an act of revenge. Now he has been paroled after changing his ways and finding peace with a new religion, Islam. He has however been sent to live in the same New Mexico town and under the governership of the same Sheriff whose deputy he killed. Garnett has moved on with his life and wants to do nothing more than see out his days working and making a family. Sadly the gang leader and the Sheriff are not so forgiving and want nothing better than a return to the past.

Deux hommes dans la ville was the original film version of this piece. It was a minor hit on release in France and didnt really surface over in either the UK or US. I have to start with a acknowledgement. I actually found a copy of said French film and watched it because I was quite interested in knowing the source of a film that was such a mess. You see often you find that the source highlights the problems and in this case it did not. I found that version far more co herent but also far less beautiful in its imagery.It took a well worn path of 1970s exploitation film and focuses on the politic and less on anything else of subject or manner. Also knowing that the film was not a hit means that it will not be a direct judgement tool. You will not say it as a comparison, more it will be a footnote.Now in this vein, why was this film such a mess?

Two become one....

The reasons are unclear at first but as you watch you suspect it falls apart at the seams because it does not live up to the billing that it should rightfully connect with. The piece is sold as a character piece and it is this missing element that I feel caused the problem. Now you will say hang on a minute it has such a wealth of talent, two oscar winners and other nominees. All this talent do perform well and in roles that are weighty. This weight however doesnt actually connect with the viewer because, in my opinion you know where it will end up. It is terrible to watch a film that is 2 hours long and know where it will end up at the end.You know where you are going like cinema sat nav or as if you were told from the start.

Show me the way to Amarillo...

This can be forgiven in some circumstnces, if say the film has something interesting going on within it. Say the compositions, dialogue or even an Charecter arch. Whitakers central performance is solid but his character goes nowhere and nowhere very slowly. He almost creeps along and when finally he hits the mark, you do not invest in it at all. I felt the film was schizophrenic because of this, peace / war, light / dark, Happy / Sad all thrown in at angles for a person I did not care about in the end. The whole piece falls apart because of this. It looked beautiful but I did not care. It sounded lovely with a well balanced score, did not care. The directiona nd editing were occasionally slack but overall sound, did not care. In a phrase… I did not care about the movie.

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